Normally I don't go for flame bait titles. But I haven't finished my morning coffee yet so I can't help myself. There's once again a debate raging across the internet about whether Scala is more or less complex than Java, along with the more nuanced argument that yes, it is more complex but only framework and library developers have to contend with this complexity. This argument usually happens when someone posts a little bit of code like this:
def map[B, That](f: A => B)(implicit bf: CanBuildFrom[Repr, B, That]): That
And then someone responds like this:
Why do not people realize that Java is too difficult for the average programmer? That is the true purpose of Scala, to escape the complexity of Java code! Framework code in Scala, with heavy use of implicit keywords and all kinds of type abstractions, is very difficult. This is correct, but this code is not meant for innocent eyes. You do not use that sort of code when you write an application.
I've seen this type of thinking before. A few years ago I had a bout of insanity and lead an ASP.NET project using ASP.NET 2.0. I had no .NET experience prior to this project. The project failed, although the reasons for that failure are legion and unimportant here. But I noticed something about ASP.NET developers: they have no clue how the technology works. It's a black box. Do you why? Because it is a black box. I searched and searched and couldn't even find a good illustration of the lifecycle for an ASP.NET page that's using events. This type of information is put front and center in the Java world. It's absolutely buried in the Microsoft world. Or at least the parts of it that target the hoards of VB programmers that are undyingly loyal to MS. The framework is magic dust created by the great wizards in Redmond so that you can build solutions for your customers. Do not question the dust. Think about VB. Or, no don't, it might damage your brain. My coffee hasn't quite kicked in, so I should have some immunity, so I'll do it for you. VB is a black box (well, at old school VB6). It was designed to allow people who do not know how to really program, and who will probably never know how to program, to create applications. It's completely flat, opaque abstraction. The dichotomy between the application developer and the framework developer is as high and as thick as the gates of Mordor.
There are many people in the Scala community that claim Scala's complexity can be hidden from the application program. I don't believe them, but there's a chance that they are right. It's technically feasible, and I can see how it could happen if Scala started attracting lots of VB programmers. I can't see how it's going to attract lots of VB programmers, but apparently many people in the Scala community think Scala is for VB programmers. So we'll just have to wait and see...Sphere: Related Content